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Five Winners and Four Losers in RCA’s Tally of 2019’s Investment Sales

Some takeaways from Real Capital Analytics’ latest Big Picture report.

The numbers are in and they definitely tell a story. Research firm Real Capital Analytics (RCA) just released its U.S. Big Picture report for 2019, examining the trends in investment sales volumes over the past 12 months. Here are the capital markets’ five winners and four losers based on the report’s findings.

  1. Winner: Multifamily sector. The sector saw the highest investment sales volume in 2019 of all the property types RCA tracks, at $183.5 billion. The only hitch came in the fourth quarter, according to RCA researchers, when tightened rent regulations in markets like New York put a dent in investors’ confidence in cities impacted by the new rules.
  2. Loser: Retail sector. The sector unsurprisingly saw the biggest drop in investment sales of any major property type last year. Retail investment sales volume dropped by 28 percent, to $62.5 billion. That’s against the backdrop of a modest 2 percent drop for investment sales volume overall in 2019.
  3. Winner: Industrial sector. Industrial properties experienced the biggest year-over-year increase in investment sales volume, by 14 percent, to $112.1 billion. The RCA Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) for industrial also went up by 12.1 percent in 2019, the biggest price increase of any sector.
  4. Loser: Portfolio sales. The market saw a significant drop-off in portfolio- and entity-level deals last year, with a year-over-year decline of 18 percent, to $150.1 billion. Single-asset sales rose by a modest 6 percent, to $420.5 billion.
  5. Winner: Secondary and tertiary markets. Commercial properties in non-major markets saw an 8.3 percent increase in their pricing over the course of 2019, according to RCA CPPI.
  6. Loser: Primary markets. RCA registered an 11 percent drop-off in investment sales properties sold in all deal types in its six major metros, as well as a 10 percent decline in the number of deals closed.
  7. Winner: Seattle. The city saw record-high annual investment sales volume in 2019, at approximately $25.7 billion.
  8. Loser: Manhattan. The borough posted a 23 percent decline in investment sales volume last year compared to its decade-long average.
  9. Winner: CBRE. The firm served as a broker on the greatest number of investment sales in 2019 by volume and by the number of properties sold, as well as leading on sales both over and under $25 million, on single-asset sales, and on sales in the office, apartment and retail sectors. 
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